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lproven(R)

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Prague, Czechia,
16.11.2017, 13:21
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project (Announce)

Is, or has, anyone experimented with this?

I am working in parallel on 2 projects, mainly for my own entertainment but also in the hope that at least one may be useful to others.

One is a bootable USB key with IBM PC DOS 7.1 and some old DOS wordprocessors and other tools, as a distraction-free writing environment.

Note, not PC DOS 7.01, the Y2K-safe version. 7.1 has LBA and FAT32 support. It's available for free download from IBM as part of the Serverguide Scripting Toolkit.

http://toogam.com/software/archive/opsys/dos/ibmpcdos/getpcd71.htm

Only part of the OS is there -- the boot files and a few utilities. The rest must be taken from PC-DOS 7.01.

I have made a boot disk image that works with VirtualBox. I would welcome offers of offsite backups of this.

But I can't re-distribute this -- IBM specifically does not permit this. So I am also building a version based on DR OpenDOS 7.01, which was FOSS and permits redistribution.

I have this working with DR-DOS 7.01 and ViewMax.

However, I would like to use the latest version, 7.02.08, again with LBA and FAT32 support.

https://archiveos.org/drdos/

But I can't get it to boot. It displays 2 full stops (periods) and then halts.

Anyone know a way past this?

---
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tom(R)

Homepage

Germany,
16.11.2017, 15:58

@ lproven
 

anyDOS Enhancement Project

may I suggest FreeDOS for this effort, as FreeDOS may be distributed, and should perform essentially identical.

RUFUS https://rufus.akeo.ie/ might help you as a starting point to get a bootable USB stick with a tiny FreeDOS configuration.

lproven(R)

Homepage E-mail

Prague, Czechia,
16.11.2017, 16:49

@ tom
 

anyDOS Enhancement Project

Thanks for the reply!

> may I suggest FreeDOS for this effort, as FreeDOS may be distributed, and
> should perform essentially identical.

I know about FreeDOS, yes, but I am not a big fan. I find it more interesting, and more fun, to use the authentic 1980s code. That is the retrocomputing angle.

I also hope to get some more interesting stuff running on top, such as DESQview, GEOS, DR-DOS Task Manager and so on, and I do not trust 100% compatibility in FreeDOS.

Secondly, bootable FreeDOS USB images already exist.

> RUFUS https://rufus.akeo.ie/ might help
> you as a starting point to get a bootable USB stick with a tiny FreeDOS
> configuration.

You appear to assume I am working on Windows. I am not.

Main dev platforms here are Ubuntu and Mac OS X. :-)

---
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Rugxulo(R)

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Usono,
17.11.2017, 01:24
(edited by Rugxulo, 17.11.2017, 02:12)

@ lproven
 

anyDOS Enhancement Project

> > may I suggest FreeDOS for this effort, as FreeDOS may be distributed,
> > and should perform essentially identical.

I strongly recommend it, too.

> I know about FreeDOS, yes, but I am not a big fan.

Since everything else is dead and buried, it seems unwise to dig through the trash to hope to find something that accidentally still works.

FreeDOS works very well. Even if it doesn't literally support 100% (who does?), it's worth keeping for the 99% of other useful stuff that does still work. (You can dual-boot DOSes via MetaKern.)

> I find it more interesting, and more fun, to use the authentic
> 1980s code. That is the retrocomputing angle.

But FAT32 and LBA didn't exist in the '80s. In fact, PC-DOS and MS-DOS were still using the same code base (until '91 or so). And FAT32 didn't come until, what, Win95 OSR2 or whatever?

> I also hope to get some more interesting stuff running on top, such as
> DESQview, GEOS, DR-DOS Task Manager and so on, and I do not trust 100%
> compatibility in FreeDOS.

Ah, obscure stuff that mucked with undocumented lowlevel details. "Just use DOSEMU2 [and FreeDOS]!"

You can still buy DR-DOS 7.03 online, but you're limited to 64 MB per task. (And you must forcibly use its EMM386 / DPMI all the time. Obviously that needs a 386 anyways.)

EDIT: EDR-DOS is based upon buggy OpenDOS 7.01, which didn't even have all of Novell's fixes. So don't expect miracles, it's not as fully bugfixed as 7.03 (but of course has other additions since 7.03 doesn't support FAT32). BTW, OpenDOS (very limited, not a full release) was "non-commercial only", so it's not technically FOSS (four freedoms).

> Secondly, bootable FreeDOS USB images already exist.
>
> > RUFUS might help you as a starting point to get a bootable USB stick
> > with a tiny FreeDOS configuration.
>
> You appear to assume I am working on Windows. I am not.
>
> Main dev platforms here are Ubuntu and Mac OS X. :-)

Then try reading these (EDIT: additional links):

* FreeDOS 1.1 Bootable USB Image
* FlashBIOS (Debian)
* DualBoot/FreeDOS (Debian)
* Flashing BIOS from Linux (ArchLinux)
* BIOS Update (Gentoo)
* Creating a USB Bootable Storage Device Using FreeDOS (Legacy Systems) (Dell)

> All I need to do now is work out how to make the hard disk bootable,
> and I'm in business.

Use FD SYS [sic]. It comes with the FD kernel download. See "/OEM:..." parameter explanation here.

EDIT: Or doesn't latest EDR-DOS change the system filenames? It may come with its own (modified) FD SYS. Nope, makeboot.bat seems to "diskcopy disk.img" and then manually copy drbio.sys and drdos.sys and command.com to the floppy. Honestly, I forget how to (easily) grab the boot sector from floppy image. Maybe FD SYS can do it ("/DUMPBS", apparently). Or just use third-party tools like WDE or BOOTMGR. I'm sure someone (on freedos-user?) can clarify better than I can.

EDIT #2: Oops, if you're installing to hard disk, then floppy boot sector is of little use. Quoting Wayback's archived page for EDR-DOS: "To install the system files to your hard disk, you will also need the DR-DOS variant of the FreeDOS SYS command v3.5 (source or binary). To format FAT12/16/32 drives, you can use the new DR FORMAT command v1.0 (source or binary). This is based on FreeDOS FORMAT v0.91u with added support for 128K cluster size and some other enhancements;"

roytam(R)

17.11.2017, 00:20

@ lproven
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project

> Is, or has, anyone experimented with this?
>
> I am working in parallel on 2 projects, mainly for my own entertainment but
> also in the hope that at least one may be useful to others.
>
> One is a bootable USB key with IBM PC DOS 7.1 and some old DOS
> wordprocessors and other tools, as a distraction-free writing environment.
>
> Note, not PC DOS 7.01, the Y2K-safe version. 7.1 has LBA and FAT32
> support. It's available for free download from IBM as part of the
> Serverguide Scripting Toolkit.
>
> http://toogam.com/software/archive/opsys/dos/ibmpcdos/getpcd71.htm
>
> Only part of the OS is there -- the boot files and a few utilities. The
> rest must be taken from PC-DOS 7.01.
>
> I have made a boot disk image that works with VirtualBox. I would welcome
> offers of offsite backups of this.
>
> But I can't re-distribute this -- IBM specifically does not permit this. So
> I am also building a version based on DR OpenDOS 7.01, which was FOSS and
> permits redistribution.
>
> I have this working with DR-DOS 7.01 and ViewMax.
>
> However, I would like to use the latest version, 7.02.08, again with LBA
> and FAT32 support.
>
> https://archiveos.org/drdos/
>
> But I can't get it to boot. It displays 2 full stops (periods) and then
> halts.
>
> Anyone know a way past this?

Maybe the boot loader doesn't like your partition layout/ID?

Try using GRUB4DOS to chainload DR-DOS' DRBIO.SYS.

lproven(R)

Homepage E-mail

Prague, Czechia,
17.11.2017, 00:49

@ roytam
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project

> Maybe the boot loader doesn't like your partition layout/ID?
>
> Try using GRUB4DOS to chainload DR-DOS' DRBIO.SYS.

Good thought -- thanks.

I have managed to trace it tonight.

The last version Udo Kuhnt released was 7.01-08:

https://archiveos.org/drdos/

The Zip contains what appears to be the image of a boot diskette: DISK.IMG

But it isn't.

First, it's the wrong size. VirtualBox can't mount it. VMware can.

I truncated it to exactly 2880 sectors using the advice from ``jleg094'' here:

https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=39141

VBox mounts that. But neither boots -- it just displays 2 dots.

I didn't think to check what was on the image! Foolish of me.

I mounted it on a pre-booted VM and looked, and it's blank! There's nothing in the image at all.

So, I mounted the empty image file as a loop device, copied the boot files in there and then the rest of the files in the distro archive.

And lo! It works! It boots my VM just fine, and it's now running 7.01-08!

All I need to do now is work out how to make the hard disk bootable, and I'm in business.

---
--
Liam Proven Profile: https://about.me/liamproven

lproven(R)

Homepage E-mail

Prague, Czechia,
08.12.2017, 23:33

@ lproven
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project

Small update on this.

I'm still working on VMs, but I know have bootable diskette images of
both. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time either has
been made available.

DR-DOS 7.01-8 is here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cz8nrdv7h4sgr6o/drdep7018.zip?dl=0

You'll need the rest of DR-DOS 7.01 to install a complete OS but
that's widely available.

A bootable PC DOS 7.1 diskette image is here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zsujtvp0gs44qcx/PCDOS71.vfd?dl=0

This is a VirtualBox disk image, containing the PC-DOS 7.1 files from
the IBM ServerGuide Scripting Toolkit, as made available by IBM and
described here:

http://toogam.com/software/archive/opsys/dos/ibmpcdos/getpcd71.htm

If you get that first, AIUI that gives you a licence to a personal-use
copy. I have not modified these files in any way except to combine the
separately-downloadable files and the boot disk image, and to remove
any non-PC DOS files from the disk image.

Again, the rest of the OS must be taken from a copy of PC DOS 7.01.
That too is widely available.

Feedback welcomed.

I am currently working on a VM image of DR-DOS 7.01-6 -- I've gone down 2 versions, to the last released _stable_ version. (7.01-7 & 7.01-8 are marked as being work-in-progress releases.) I have this working well with TaskManager and ViewMax 2, so I have a working FOSS DR-DOS with FAT32, multitasking and a GUI.

---
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Liam Proven Profile: https://about.me/liamproven

Rugxulo(R)

Homepage

Usono,
09.12.2017, 18:29

@ lproven
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project

> Feedback welcomed.
>
> I am currently working on a VM image of DR-DOS 7.01-6 -- I've gone down 2
> versions, to the last released _stable_ version. (7.01-7 & 7.01-8 are
> marked as being work-in-progress releases.)

Okay, I'm assuming you mean EDR-DOS here (although Udo too didn't call 7.01.06 "Enhanced", for whatever reason).

"
Enhanced DR-DOS 7.01.07 (6.3.2005)
The latest stable version with support for the FAT32 disk API, improved memory management and many other enhancements!
"

That says "stable", so did you try that specific one? Did it not work as well for you? Because only "Enhanced DR-DOS 7.01.08 WIP (21.7.2011)" says "work-in-progress ... unstable".

But maybe he only focused on FAT32 (etc.) and not so much multitasking.

> I have this working well with
> TaskManager and ViewMax 2, so I have a working FOSS DR-DOS with FAT32,
> multitasking and a GUI.

It's not FOSS. If you say "FOSS", you basically mean four freedoms. At best, EDR-DOS (kernel + shell only) are (AFAIK) "sources available, non-commercial only".

TaskManager (TASKMGR.EXE)? IIRC, they supported task swapping (286+) and pre-emptive multitasking (386+). The latter needs its (closed source, proprietary) EMM386 (with bundled .VXDs or whatever, and its DPMI server enabled). Not sure how well it will work for your uses. (Remember, it's always limited to 64 MB per task, and the DPMI is buggier than with DR-DOS 7.03.)

ViewMax/2? Isn't that just OpenGem?

I still say DOSEMU2 + FreeDOS (+ whatever slim Linux distro, Puppy?) is better, obviously.

lproven(R)

Homepage E-mail

Prague, Czechia,
09.12.2017, 18:54

@ Rugxulo
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project

>
> Okay, I'm assuming you mean EDR-DOS here (although Udo too didn't call
> 7.01.06 "Enhanced", for whatever reason).

I have not seen your term "EDR-DOS" anywhere else, and to be honest, I am not keen on it. I think it would confuse people. Yes, I do mean Udo Kuhnt's Enhanced DR OpenDOS.

Of all the names, DR-DOS (with or without the hyphen) seems the easiest and best-known to me.

> "
> Enhanced DR-DOS 7.01.07 (6.3.2005)
> The latest stable version with support for the FAT32 disk API, improved
> memory management and many other enhancements!
> "
>
> That says "stable", so did you try that specific one? Did it not work as
> well for you? Because only "Enhanced DR-DOS 7.01.08 WIP (21.7.2011)" says
> "work-in-progress ... unstable".

I've gone and looked at archive.org's mirror of the site and you're right. I must have misread it. That's a bit annoying but should be easy enough to fix. I'll get on it soon.

> But maybe he only focused on FAT32 (etc.) and not so much multitasking.

I think so -- AFAICS he only worked on DRBIO/DRDOS/COMMAND.COM and only a few supplementary commands: TASKMGR, SHARE, SYS, XCOPY. Most of the OS remains unchanged.

> > I have this working well with
> > TaskManager and ViewMax 2, so I have a working FOSS DR-DOS with FAT32,
> > multitasking and a GUI.
>
> It's not FOSS. If you say "FOSS", you basically mean
> four freedoms. At
> best, EDR-DOS (kernel + shell only) are (AFAIK) "sources available,
> non-commercial only".

I do not currently have access to the source CD that Caldera/Lineo provided to me personally -- it's in Brno and I now live in Prague. But I must check it and look at the licence. I thought that Caldera did release 7.01, sources and all, under a permissive licence, but I could be wrong.

Even if it's just freeware/non-commercial, it's still a good step, surely? But you're right, I need to clarify this.

> TaskManager (TASKMGR.EXE)? IIRC, they supported task swapping (286+) and
> pre-emptive multitasking (386+). The latter needs its (closed source,
> proprietary) EMM386

Yes, it does.

I am in parallel also working on a similar version (VirtualBox + bootable USB key) using IBM PC DOS 7.1. I have this working now, but IBM's HIMEM/EMM386 are giving me problems. I cannot get Quaterdeck QEMM to start successfully on any modern hardware at my disposal; it locks the machine or reboots it.

So I have to use the DOSes' bundled memory managers, and so far, DR's is proving a lot less troublesome.

> (with bundled .VXDs or whatever,

There is no Windows on any of my text machines, so no VxDs.

> and its DPMI server
> enabled).

AFAICT, it's built in and automatic.

> Not sure how well it will work for your uses. (Remember, it's
> always limited to 64 MB per task, and the DPMI is buggier than with DR-DOS
> 7.03.)

The later versions do have desirable improvements, yes, but including them would violate DeviceLogics' IP, AIUI.

Currently, I have it working, and can concurrently load DR DOS Editor, MS DOS Editor, MSD and a few command prompts and switch between them.

On PC DOS 7.1 I have DOSShell swapping MS Word 6 and WordPerfect 6.2 but I can't redistribute any of them, sadly.

> ViewMax/2? Isn't that just
> OpenGem?

No. ViewMax 1 was in DR-DOS 5; ViewMax 2 was in DR-DOS 6. Both are based on GEM, but heavily cut-down. They're graphical file-managers and app-launchers and not much more.

Both were separately open-sourced by Caldera, independently of DR-DOS. It's GPL.

http://www.deltasoft.com/news.htm

So I have extracted a copy from DR-DOS 6 and included it.

The main reason is that it provides not only a graphical front-end, but also a GUI to TaskMgr.

> I still say DOSEMU2 + FreeDOS (+ whatever slim Linux distro, Puppy?) is
> better, obviously.

I have DOSemu on all my Linux machines, and I love the easy access to the host's filesystem -- but I find it quite easy to crash, so I don't trust it not to lose my work.

VirtualBox still gives near on-the-metal performance, and the screen can be resized more smoothly. I've also found it _very_ stable, although playing with DOS memory management and multitasking can kill my VMs sometimes. Once I have stable working combinations, though, this is not unpredictable -- e.g. Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't work but the VBox Reset command does. With a write-through disk-cache, this is not a problem.

Also, I'm afraid I just don't like FreeDOS very much. It doesn't behave as I expect. I spent a decade working with MS & DR DOS on a daily basis and have expectations of what it will do. Even 4DOS broke those expectations and some of my batch files failed.

FreeDOS is a great piece of work, and I hope that people use it and it thrives. However, I prefer "the real thing" and as such my interest is reviving PC DOS for my own personal use, and DR DOS for more general use.

---
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Liam Proven Profile: https://about.me/liamproven

lproven(R)

Homepage E-mail

Prague, Czechia,
09.12.2017, 20:25

@ lproven
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project

Small update:

Thanks to the info you gave me, I've updated my VM to 7.01-7.

Again, the boot disk image in the download is the wrong size for
Virtualbox. Again, it's empty anyway. So I had to resize it, then
populate it, then boot my VM off it and install from it.

There's a small feature regression: quitting TaskMgr now hangs the OS.
:-( And I'm still not seeing as much free RAM as I'd like. But it's
there and it works.

I will try to make a bootable USB from it next.

The key there seems to be:

[1] You need a DOS kernel that understands LBA.
[2] You need to make the partition from DOS. It's not happy with one
created by GParted, for example. But I can use Gparted to mark the
partition as active, that seems OK.
[3] With PC-DOS, anyway, it won't SYS it. I had to do ``format D:
/s''. I suspect DR-DOS _will_ format it. We'll see.

---
--
Liam Proven Profile: https://about.me/liamproven

Rugxulo(R)

Homepage

Usono,
09.12.2017, 20:42

@ lproven
 

DR-DOS Enhancement Project

> I have not seen your term "EDR-DOS" anywhere else, and to be honest, I am
> not keen on it. I think it would confuse people. Yes, I do mean Udo Kuhnt's
> Enhanced DR OpenDOS.

Well, the bootable system file names (and thus boot sector) of EDR-DOS are different. If you ignore that, sure, it's more-or-less highly similar to vanilla DR-DOS.

AFAIK, any so-called "DR-DOS" since 7.03 was only a few patched utils for OEMs (or modified/renamed, e.g. Dell DRMK). So there hasn't been a full or official release since then.

OpenDOS 7.01 was very short-lived, and that's what EDR-DOS is based upon. But nobody else has bothered making any modifications, AFAIK.

> Of all the names, DR-DOS (with or without the hyphen) seems the easiest and
> best-known to me.

It doesn't really matter, obviously. But "OpenDOS" is the (limited) source release, "DR-DOS" is the full commercial OS, and "EDR-DOS" is Udo's patches for FAT32/FAT+/LBA etc.

> > But maybe he only focused on FAT32 (etc.) and not so much multitasking.
>
> I think so -- AFAICS he only worked on DRBIO/DRDOS/COMMAND.COM and only a
> few supplementary commands: TASKMGR, SHARE, SYS, XCOPY. Most of the OS
> remains unchanged.

AFAIK, OpenDOS 7.01 only released sources for kernel and shell. Like I said, it didn't even have all of Novell's fixes. And later commercial-only DR-DOS 7.03 had various improvements (e.g. DPMI).

> > At best, EDR-DOS (kernel + shell only) are (AFAIK) "sources available,
> > non-commercial only".
>
> I do not currently have access to the source CD that Caldera/Lineo provided
> to me personally -- it's in Brno and I now live in Prague. But I must check
> it and look at the licence. I thought that Caldera did release 7.01,
> sources and all, under a permissive licence, but I could be wrong.

"Non-commercial only" means you can't sell your changes, but they can!

Many companies won't officially mirror files that aren't free/libre. GNU/FSF and OSI are very insistent that all users can make changes, whether commercial or otherwise.

Honestly, after all these years, I don't see the point in them holding on so tightly, but DR-DOS 7.03 is still sold online, so who knows.

> Even if it's just freeware/non-commercial, it's still a good step, surely?
> But you're right, I need to clarify this.

Better than nothing, but not better than FreeDOS (or Linux or ...). It's been many years, and while FreeDOS may not technically be perfect, it's still quite good. These days you're more likely to run MS Word under WINE rather than the old DOS version.

> > TaskManager (TASKMGR.EXE)? IIRC, they supported task swapping (286+) and
> > pre-emptive multitasking (386+). The latter needs its (closed source,
> > proprietary) EMM386
>
> Yes, it does.
>
> I am in parallel also working on a similar version (VirtualBox + bootable
> USB key) using IBM PC DOS 7.1. I have this working now, but IBM's
> HIMEM/EMM386 are giving me problems. I cannot get Quaterdeck QEMM to start
> successfully on any modern hardware at my disposal; it locks the machine or
> reboots it.

I never used QEMM, but I thought one guy said it capped out at 256 MB.

> So I have to use the DOSes' bundled memory managers, and so far, DR's is
> proving a lot less troublesome.

DR-DOS' EMM386.EXE doesn't even need HIMEM.SYS, but both are limited to 64 MB (despite falsely claiming XMSv3).

> > (with bundled .VXDs or whatever,
>
> There is no Windows on any of my text machines, so no VxDs.

There are bundled .VXDs inside EMM386.EXE itself. (Plus maybe other stuff, I don't know. It's very strange! There's a lot of magic in there for /MULTI and DPMI.)

> > and its DPMI server enabled).
>
> AFAICT, it's built in and automatic.

You must use its DPMI for multitasking, but it's not automatic. It's otherwise optional. You can turn it on and off (at least in full DR-DOS 7.03).

> > Not sure how well it will work for your uses. (Remember, it's
> > always limited to 64 MB per task, and the DPMI is buggier than with
> > DR-DOS 7.03.)
>
> The later versions do have desirable improvements, yes, but including them
> would violate DeviceLogics' IP, AIUI.

I don't even know if they're called DeviceLogics anymore. But yes, DR-DOS Inc. (or whatever) still sells it online.

I honestly don't know if TASKMGR.EXE is freeware.

While I did buy DR-DOS 7.03 online many years ago (2004?), I no longer use it. It's a good OS, but I ended up extending it with so many third-party things (esp. from FreeDOS), so it's less useful overall. Even EDR-DOS used modified versions of FreeDOS utils.

Hey, I don't want to overhype FreeDOS, but it's the last hope of DOS. It's a woefully understaffed group, but it's better than nothing. Most people have "moved on" to other OSes (GNU/Linux, ReactOS, etc).

> Currently, I have it working, and can concurrently load DR DOS Editor, MS
> DOS Editor, MSD and a few command prompts and switch between them.

Okay, but why would you run two text editors? I sympathize with multitasking, but you don't always need it. To me, the obvious situations would be file compression / archiving, compiling, or doing any file searching across subdirs. Otherwise, I'm good without it.

> On PC DOS 7.1 I have DOSShell swapping MS Word 6 and WordPerfect 6.2 but I
> can't redistribute any of them, sadly.

DOSEMU + FreeDOS should "mostly" be Free/libre. I'm not sure how cleaned up it is, even in DOSEMU2 (haven't looked closely lately). Converting to Free tools is still (another) burden.

> > ViewMax/2? Isn't that just OpenGEM?
>
> No. ViewMax 1 was in DR-DOS 5; ViewMax 2 was in DR-DOS 6. Both are based on
> GEM, but heavily cut-down. They're graphical file-managers and
> app-launchers and not much more.
>
> Both were separately open-sourced by Caldera, independently of DR-DOS. It's
> GPL.
>
> So I have extracted a copy from DR-DOS 6 and included it.

Splitting hairs here, close enough. :-P

> The main reason is that it provides not only a graphical front-end, but
> also a GUI to TaskMgr.

Who needs a GUI? Doesn't Ctrl-Esc (or whatever) bring up the task list? Heck, one guy (David Given?) wrote his own ps.com util many moons ago, too.

> > I still say DOSEMU2 + FreeDOS (+ whatever slim Linux distro, Puppy?) is
> > better, obviously.
>
> I have DOSemu on all my Linux machines, and I love the easy access to the
> host's filesystem -- but I find it quite easy to crash, so I don't trust it
> not to lose my work.

Yes, some few things don't work, but no DOS environment is 100% perfect.

> VirtualBox still gives near on-the-metal performance, and the screen can be
> resized more smoothly. I've also found it _very_ stable, although playing
> with DOS memory management and multitasking can kill my VMs sometimes. Once
> I have stable working combinations, though, this is not unpredictable --
> e.g. Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't work but the VBox Reset command does. With a
> write-through disk-cache, this is not a problem.

Do you have hardware virtualization? That helps a lot.

> Also, I'm afraid I just don't like FreeDOS very much. It doesn't behave as
> I expect. I spent a decade working with MS & DR DOS on a daily basis and
> have expectations of what it will do. Even 4DOS broke those expectations
> and some of my batch files failed.
>
> FreeDOS is a great piece of work, and I hope that people use it and it
> thrives. However, I prefer "the real thing" and as such my interest is
> reviving PC DOS for my own personal use, and DR DOS for more general use.

I don't blame you for using whatever works, for preferring what's familiar. I'm not pressuring you or pretending that FreeDOS is 1000x better. But overall it's the only hope left, and the Free license (for "most" things) far surpasses the others (which are either long dead or close enough). FreeDOS will not see major improvements probably, but hopefully it doesn't die just yet. (Although Intel intends to kill the BIOS entirely by 2020 in favor of UEFI. No more CSM.)

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